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September 25, 2013

Westgate Attack Underscores Al Shabaab’s Battle With Jews And Israel

In an interview with Al Jazeera on Monday, Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abulaziz Abu Muscab, said that in addition to Kenya’s military involvement in Somalia, the terrorist group attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi because it is a place “where there are Jewish and American shops. So we have to attack them.”al-shabaab-symbol-al-qaeda

Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-linked ter­ror­ist group that claimed respon­si­bil­ity for attack­ing the West­gate mall on Sat­ur­day, has previously declared an “open bat­tle” against Israel, which it deems the “oppress­ing Zion­ist entity,” and Jew­ish inter­ests in Africa.

In 2012, Kenyan sup­port­ers of Al Shabaab published a pre­dom­i­nantly Swahili-language online ter­ror­ist mag­a­zine fea­turing English-language arti­cles that describe Jews as “the worst enemy of Islam.” The mag­a­zine, titled Gaidi Mtaani, roughly trans­lated as “Ter­ror­ism Street,” cast “the Zion­ist with their Amer­i­can part­ners” as the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the “cru­sade” in Soma­lia and crit­i­cized the Kenyan pres­i­dent for trav­el­ing to Israel to secure Israeli coop­er­a­tion for coun­tert­er­ror­ism efforts. 

gaidi-mtaani-magazine kenya-shabaab-adl

Screenshot from Gaidi Mtaani

The authors warned that they will not “dif­fer­en­ti­ate between civil­ians and com­bat­ants” and called on Kenya’s cit­i­zens to “reflect on the mag­ni­tude of what is yet to come,” cit­ing the 1998 bomb­ing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya that killed over 200 people.

Israeli inter­ests had previously been tar­geted by Al Qaeda in Kenya, includ­ing an attempt to shoot down an Israeli air­liner and an attack on an Israeli-owned resort in 2002.

In November 2009, Al Shabaab announced the establishment of Al Quds Brigade, a military unit specifically tasked with attacking Israel and freeing “Islamic holy places” from the Israelis.

See ADL’s Report: Al Shabaab’s Amer­i­can Recruits

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November 20, 2012

Militant Organizations Weigh In On Operation Pillar Of Defense

Hassan Nasrallah speaks about Operation Pillar of Defense

In response to Israel’s military operation against key Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, Hezbollah, Al Shabaab and the Taliban have issued statements condemning Israel and Jews for the renewed violence.

Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, has condemned “in the strongest possible terms, the savage Jewish assault on the innocent Muslim population of Gaza.” Al Shabaab issued a statement on Twitter calling “on all Muslims, particularly those living near Gaza, to answer the call of the oppressed & come to the aid of their brothers.”

Although Al Shabaab is geographically removed from the conflict, it has previously declared an “open battle” against Jewish interests in Africa and against Israel, which it has described as the “oppressing Zionist entity.” In November 2009, it announced the establishment of Al Quds Brigade, a military unit specifically tasked with attacking Israel and freeing “Islamic holy places” from the Israelis.

Al Shabaab appears to be the only affiliate of Al Qaeda to have issued a public statement on the conflict so far. Since messages from the senior Al Qaeda leadership routinely take time to reach the public, official statements are likely to be made in the coming weeks.

Hezbollah, the Lebanese Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), has also condemned Israeli actions and expressed its support for the Palestinian militant factions via its satellite television station, Al-Manar. While Hezbollah has not yet entered the fray, Lebanese security forces report that they dismantled two rockets aimed at Israel from southern Lebanon on Monday.

Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, encouraged Arabs to “open borders to Gaza and deliver more missiles to the resistance,” adding that “Arab countries are required to support and arm Gaza and not to work as intermediaries between the Israeli enemy and Gaza.” Nasrallah also said “the Zionists returned to their criminal nature with killing large numbers of children, women and civilians.”

Hezbollah’s Al Manar also reported on statements made by Ziad al-Nakhala, the Deputy Secretary General of PIJ, that “the weapons which the resistance uses to fight, including those of Hamas, are Iranian weapons, from the first bullet to the missile; even the locally manufactured ones are Iranian.”

The Taliban in Afghanistan issued a statement condemning “the brutal attacks on the land of Palestine.” The message calls on “the Islamic peoples and especially the leaders of the Islamic world… to take a stand… to put an end to the Israeli injustices.” The statement also highlights American support for Israel, which it claims demonstrates “support for international terrorism.”

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